Niger leader calls on new Pope to dedicate papacy to poor, weak
In his message, President Issoufou described Pope Francis as “a man of experience, openness and dialogue capable of engaging a constructive dialogue with people of different faith, someone who is very well aware of the current problems and challenges of the developing world.“
“(…) I am very confident in your ability to assist the weakest and the poorest in the great tradition of the herdsman”, the Nigerien president said while reaffirming the availability of his country and himself to strengthen their relations with the Holy See “in the context of a frank and confident dialogue”.
Predominantly-Muslim Niger has been widely hailed as a beacon of successful inter-religious dialogue. Its 99% strong Muslim community enjoys very good and peaceful relations with people of different faith notably the 20,000 Nigerien Catholics.
The Catholic Church was established in Niger since 1931, several centuries after the presence of Islam in the country.